Former President Bill Clinton, among those packed into Pimlico's Turf Club on Preakness Day, predicted New York-bred Funny Cide, winner of the Kentucky Derby (gr. I), would also win the Visa Triple Crown's second jewel.
"In deference to the junior senator from New York," Clinton said in reference to wife Hillary, "I'd better be for Funny Cide. But he ran a monster race in the Derby, and that win was no fluke. Four horses came to him and he put them all away. It was one of the best Kentucky Derbys I've seen in the last 25 years."
Clinton wouldn't provide an exacta selection, but he did say he disagreed with the oddsmakers who painted the Preakness as a two-horse race between Funny Cide and Peace Rules, the third-place finisher in the Derby. "There is a lot more quality to this field than some people realize," Clinton said. "I think we'll see a longshot in the exacta."
Clinton, whose late mother was an everyday fan at Oaklawn Park, was in the Turf Club's "power table," with Maryland Gov. Robert Ehrlich Jr., Magna Entertainment chairman Frank Stronach, Magna International president and CEO Belinda Stronach (Frank's daughter), and rock star John Bon Jovi.